Featured Contributor

Louisa McCune

About Louisa McCune

Louisa McCune is executive director of Kirkpatrick Foundation. She has three sons, Mac, Rucks, and Edward, and a lot of dogs and one cat.

She is currently on the board of Patrons of OKC Animal Welfare, Animal Grantmakers, and the Neighborhoods Subcommittee for MAPS4, appointed by the Oklahoma City mayor. She is the past board president of Animal Grantmakers (2020), and in 2021 served as committee chairman for the Philanthropy Southwest Annual Conference. She is an advisory trustee to the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center and an adviser to Green Box Arts. In 2020, she co-founded the Oklahoma Killer Whale Project and served as executive producer of The Odyssey Project (a livestream complete reading of Emily Wilson’s translation) in partnership with Oklahoma Contemporary. McCune is editor in chief and co-founder of ArtDesk, a member and co-founder of Common Bonds, and a member and co-founder of the Oklahoma Roundtable for Animal Welfare. She also serves on the boards of the Kirkpatrick Policy Group and Oklahoma Voters United. In 2022, McCune was a presenter at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics summer school, held at Merton College at Oxford University.

McCune is a past member of the American Society of Magazine Editors and has served on the boards of City Arts Center, Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Wilson Arts. She is a former committee member for the Thatcher Hoffman Smith prize and past judge for the National Magazine Awards and the Oklahoma Book Awards (the book she co-edited with Teresa Miller, Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals, won an Oklahoma Book Award in 2018). She is a current member of Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, Club 29.

From 1997 to 2011, she served as editor in chief of Oklahoma Today. Under her guidance, the magazine won more than 250 national and state awards, including three SPJ Best Magazine awards and two Magazine of the Year awards from the International Regional Magazine Association.

Before returning to Oklahoma, McCune was a contributing editor for The American Benefactor and also worked at WorthGeorgeHarper’s MagazineMirabella, and New York. In 1996, she was assistant editor on Fools for Scandal by Gene Lyons, published by Harper’s and a former contributing editor to Green: The Magazine for Personal Finance. Her articles have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Reader’s DigestWorthThe OklahomanOKC BusinessThe Journal Record,OKC Pets MagazineWorld Literature Today, and Zoo Sounds. Her essay, “Family Plots,” appeared in Voices from the Heartland. In 2022, she has two forthcoming pieces: The Skeleton’s Key to Nature’s Course: John Newsom Paints the Cosmogram and Deep in the Heartland: Early Concepts of Humane Education.

In 2023, McCune will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Paseo Arts Association. In 2022, she was named one of the Top 33 Power List “Innovative Women” by the Journal Record newspaper; in 2021, McCune was named the 29th Most Powerful Woman in Oklahoma City by OKC Friday. In 2014, she received the Community Service Award from the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest, and in 2013, she received the Pride of the Plainsmen award from Enid High School. In 2007, she was named an Achiever Under 40 by the Journal Record, and in 2003, McCune received the Bill Thurman Memorial Media in the Arts Award at the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award. In 2002, she was called one of “Forty Under 40” Oklahoma City leaders by OKC Business; and in 1999, she was named one of “Thirty Under 30” by the Magazine Publishers of America and Folio:.

An Enid, Oklahoma, native, McCune graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University in 1992. After college, she worked for Evergreen Helicopters in West Africa on a project to eradicate river blindness and then at the Enid News & Eagle as a general assignment feature writer. She received her pilot’s license in 1993. In 2005, McCune founded the Sallie McFarland Rucks Reader Series at Wilson Elementary in Oklahoma City. In 2023, after a year-long internship, she received her energy medicine certificate with Dr. Gary Cone and her fellow cohort.